Reports | December 16, 2010 2:22

Carlsen wins again in London

Carlsen wins again in LondonMagnus Carlsen repeated his 2009 success and won the 2nd London Chess Classic today after beating Nigel Short in the final round. With the other three games ending in a draw, the Norwegian finished two points ahead of McShane and Anand according to the football scoring system.

General info

The second London Chess Classic took place December 8-15 at the Olympiad Conference Centre on Hammersmith Road in Kensington, London. Besides the Classic itself there was a big open, a women's invitational, rapid and blitz events, simuls by Viktor Kortchnoi, lectures by GMs Boris Avrukh and Jacob Aagaard, and more. This wonderful fresh tradition in the capital of the United Kingdom anticipates a FIDE World Championship in 2012 and supports chess in schools and communities at the same time. In the top group Anand, Carlsen, Kramnik, Nakamura, Adams, Short, McShane and Howell played. More info here.

Videos by Macauley Peterson

Round 7 report

With a big smile that revealed a mixture of satisfaction, relief and surprise, Magnus Carlsen entered the commentary room. He had just beaten Nigel Short in a superb, positional endgame and was still not fully realizing that he had just won his second consecutive London Chess Classic, finishing clear first despite losing two games in a 7-round event.


This unexpected success was of course a result of the controversial "football scoring system" used in the UK capital, applied by just one other tournament in the 2010 chess calendar: the Bilbao Grand Slam Masters Final. This systems yields 3 points for a win and 1 for a draw, in an attempt to stimulate players to fight for the full point.

Normally Carlsen would have finished shared first together with Vishy Anand and Luke McShane, as all had scored 4.5 points according to the classical system. A traditional tiebreaker, called the Sonneborn-Berger system, would actually have put Carlsen on a third place, behind Anand and McShane.

The football system is probably not the perfect system for a tournament that only lasts seven rounds, and as Mark Crowther of The Week in Chess pointed out, making things unnecessarily complicated. Adding a simple tiebreak rule "most wins" to the classical scoring system would also have done the trick.

But despite the debate about the scoring system, on Wednesday night Carlsen had enough reason to be satisfied: besides becoming the official winner in London the Norwegian also regained his number one spot in the live ratings (and therefore also in the upcoming January 1st FIDE rating list). And, he did so with a fine win in the last round, outplaying Nigel Short with the white pieces in a seemingly equal ending.

Anand vs Kramnik

Vishy Anand, who had drawn relatively quickly with Vladimir Kramnik in a Berlin Wall, condemned Short's ...Qxd1. The World Champion predicted big problems for the Englishman, and this came true rather quickly. Carlsen's lead in development started to tell, and an ongoing initiative eventually led to the fall of the important black pawn on a5, after things were more or less decided. It was the first time Short declined an invitation to explain his game to the public. The chess fans were not surprised, and felt sorry for the dreadful tournament the former World Championship contender had to go through.

Carlsen at the commentary

Carlsen at the commentary with IM Lawrence Trent (l.) and GM Stephen Gordon

Two other English players did enter the commentary room, after quite an interesting fight in the Sicilian Dragon: David Howell and Luke McShane. Like Short, who had failed to find a win earlier in the tournament against the same opponent in the same opening, Howell didn't manage to convert a winning position. However, at least he had the excuse that he allowed the three-move repetition with just seconds left on the clock.

Yet again Hikaru Nakamura was involved in the last game of a super tournament. He had bravely entered the Marshall, which as been on Mickey Adams' repertoire for many years, trying to win a typical ending with an extra pawn. But also in this game, as in so many before, the bishop pair proved to give enough compensation.


Around 14.15, after a lunch with a friend who lives in London, your reporter accidently bumped into Garry Kasparov outside the Olympia building, at a street corner. The former World Champion had just left his hotel room to head to the venue, and could already tell me that Anand and Kramnik had drawn their game moments ago. To my remark that the two players had played quite a few draws lately, he replied: "But this was a real fight." We walked to the venue together and there he had an interview with CNN, a book signing session, and another interview. Unfortunately Kasparov only shared his thoughts on the games in the VIP room, and didn't join the commentators, as most fans had hoped for.

Kasparov interview with CNN

Garry Kasparov interviewed by CNN in the Olympia foyer...

Kasparov book signing

...and then signing many of his books for chess fans

The open tournament ended in a shared victory for the young English GMs Simon Williams and Gawain Jones. Both were on 7 points after 8 rounds, both played with the black pieces in the last, both had a lost position at some point and both managed to save the draw, as Jones told your reporter later that night in the bar of the Hilton Olympia.

Williams, Raoof and Jones

GM Simon Williams, organizer Adam Raoof and GM Gawain Jones, who on Thursday travelled to Warsaw, Poland to participate in the European rapid and blitz championships this weekend

Like last year, the players of the Classic enjoyed a dinner at Simpons-in-the-Strand, where the prize giving took place (and where most chess journalists were not invited and therefore again could forget about a photo of the winner with the trophy).


The exclusive dinner later that night...

Carlsen with the winner's trophy

...where Magnus Carlsen received the winner's trophy from Garry Kasparov

McShane at the dinner simul

Even during dinner some sort of simul was held with the participants - here McShane...

Anand at the dinner simul

...a first move by the World Champ...

Carlsen at the dinner simul

...and Magnus Carlsen also joining (and Macauley Peterson filming)

Korchnoi and his wife

Guests of honour: Viktor and Petra Korchnoi

Kasparov with Adams

Mickey Adams chatting with Garry Kasparov

Except for the Russian Championship this was it for 2010 as far as super tournaments are concerned. Next on the agenda is the Tata tournament, which has its first round on January 15th.

Final report by tournament press chief John Saunders

Magnus Carlsen clinched first place and the 50,000 euros first prize in the 2010 London Chess Classic at Olympia on Wednesday with a consummate positional win against England’s Nigel Short. Theirs was the second game to finish but the tie-break ensured that Magnus would take first regardless of other results. Vishy Anand and Vlad Kramnik drew their game and the two results should also see Magnus Carlsen Carlsen reclaim his place at the top of the official rating list in January 2011. His mentor Garry Kasparov was present at the venue to comment on the games of the final round and see his protégé win the tournament for the second successive year.

The London Chess Classic has been another resounding success on all fronts. It provides a fitting finale to the annual world chess circuit as the top players jockey for supremacy on the rating list. The technology brought to bear on the event is simply awesome: chess fans worldwide are able to see as much of the action and post-match commentary as the lucky people in the building, both in real-time and after the event. The players realise they are more under the spotlight than ever and respond with uncompromising play on the stage and some entertaining cut and thrust in the commentary room. The whole thing is a virtuous circle which showcases chess as the superlative leisure activity that we know it to be. The big winner here, as last year, was chess itself, so hats off to Malcolm Pein and his organising team for all their hard work.

So Magnus did it again. It wasn’t the triumphal procession of last year or comparable to his Fischer-like victories in a number of other super-tournaments. He had to pick himself up off the canvas a couple of times and was more than a shade lucky not to lose a third game, against Vlad Kramnik, but his never-say-die spirit saw him through. This ability to win tournaments from the front or from behind, in good form or not so good, makes him the supreme tournament player of the moment. Rating Change: +1.6

Vishy Anand’s very presence was a signal honour to the tournament and he lived up to his reputation a great ambassador for the game as well as a superb player. His high point was the defeat of Magnus Carlsen, which was a reminder to the young man that is one thing to win tournaments but quite another to win head-to-head games against elite players - which is something Carlsen will have to do consistently in order to take Vishy’s world crown. Vishy was very solid but his failure to put away a couple of highly advantageous positions in the early rounds probably cost him first place. It was great having Vishy in London. He should play here again... maybe a match this time... and 2012 seems a good year to hold it. Rating Change: +1.5

Luke McShane was the individual success story of the tournament. In the UK we’ve long known he is a player of prodigious talent - now the world knows it. Luke’s rating trajectory would surely have taken him past 2700 some years ago but for the time taken out to study at Oxford and embark on a financial career. During the last year he has refocused on chess and he is now rapidly closing on the 2700 mark. Luke’s brilliant first-round demolition of Magnus Carlsen demonstrated that he can beat anyone on his day, and he also showed he can hang in there and battle his way to a draw in bad positions. He and the world champion were both unbeaten at Olympia. On the January 2011 rating list (subject to confirmation) he should move above Nigel Short for the first time, becoming the first Englishman to break the Adams/Short duopoly for nearly 20 years. Rating Change: +18.6

Vlad Kramnik was below his best at Olympia, but only slightly. His uncharacteristic loss to Nakamura might have shaken a lesser man but he played steadily and consistently thereafter. His dry humour and relaxed charm made him a popular figure in the commentary room. Vlad loves London, and London loves Vlad. Rating Change: -2.1

Hikaru Nakamura had a tough draw, with Black against the top three players, but started excellently with a draw and a win against Anand and Kramnik respectively. Unfortunately Carlsen in round four proved a bigger obstacle. He really needed to capitalise on his good positions against the two younger Englishmen but the win eluded him on both occasions. Overall, though, this was a good and encouraging event for the young American who has a lot of fans in the UK, and his reward is to see his name amongst the top ten on the live world rating list. Rating Change: +3.2.

Mickey Adams started well with a comfortable win against David Howell but came unstuck against Magnus Carlsen in the next. His other five games were drawn but Mickey seemed to play pretty well in all of them. Overall it was a par performance for a consistent world top twenty player. Rating Change: +0.2.

David Howell was the revelation of the inaugural 2009 Classic but he found things much tougher this year, perhaps because he is now a university student with other pressing claims on his time. But his back-to-the-wall draws with Anand and Nakamura were impressive and he so nearly held off Magnus Carlsen at his best. Overall it was a hard work-out but he came through it pretty well, with only minimal damage to his rating. Rating Change: -2.8.

Nigel Short’s tournament probably hinged on his second round game against Luke McShane when he failed to find the win against his opponent’s Sicilian Dragon and then subsided to defeat. Both of them might have had very different tournaments had White won that game. A tactical miscalculation also cost him his fourth round game against Anand and thereafter he looked out of sorts. Nigel may be suffering from a crisis of confidence but it would unwise to write him off as he has bounced back from such crises before. He was as ebullient as ever in the commentary room and provided the audience with great entertainment. Rating Change: -20.2.

The first game to finish was the pairing of the current world champion Vishy Anand and his great predecessor Vlad Kramnik. Vlad’s own great predecessor Garry Kasparov was present in the building to see how his successors fared. Garry witnessed a Berlin Defence, which was his own nemesis in London in 2000. Vishy too was unable to overcome it. Vlad played 10...h5 in a position where he had previously played 10...Be7 or 10...b6. Vishy carried a token edge into the middlegame but it came down to an opposite-coloured bishop endgame where his extra pawn was of no consequence.

Nigel Short faced leader Magnus Carlsen with the black pieces and his plan seemed to be to play the French defence and swap off some material to try and stop the rampant Norwegian in his tracks. Unfortunately, exchanges did not relieve the pressure as Magnus restrained Nigel’s queenside development and occupied strong points. Magnus gave up the two bishops to round up Nigel’s a-pawn and it soon subsided into a straightforward technical win as Nigel’s various tricks were defused. In the VIP room Garry Kasparov correctly predicted Magnus’s plan of 27 Rb5 and 28 a5 and then said “this is a technical win - let’s look at another game!”

David Howell and Luke McShane are the heirs apparent of English chess and they played a full-blooded Sicilian Dragon - one of the wildest openings in the canon. Game followed theory until Luke’s 17...Be6 (17...e5 has been played before). David seemed to have much the best of it of the early part of the game and it appeared his attack was crashing through when he played 33 Rxd5. But next move he hesitated and demurred to play 34 Rxh7+ Kg8 and White has the improbable 35 Rf7!! and all the tactics seem to work. Luke then missed his defence and David once more had the chance to win had he played 38 Rxh7+ and 39 Rhe7 which surely wins. Instead the game was drawn by repetition. A watching Garry Kasparov made a wicked observation: “Is Howell a member of Amnesty International?” So the game was drawn and Luke McShane had improbably remained unbeaten in the tournament.

The game between Hikaru Nakamura and Mickey Adams went right down to the kings - a most appropriate end to a fighting tournament. Mickey played his favourite Marshall Attack and Hikaru exited the ‘book’ when he played 17 a4. It is very possible that Hikaru could have improved on move 21 when he allowed a discovered attack on his queen. The queens came off and Mickey retained some compensation for his sacrificed pawn in the shape of the two bishops and pressure against Hikaru’s hanging pawns. Eventually he managed to equalise material and draw the game.

Games round 7

Game viewer by ChessTempo

London Chess Classic 2010 | Pairings & results

London Chess Classic 2010 | Pairings

London Chess Classic 2010 | Round 7 standings

London Chess Classic 2010 | Pairings
Carlsen talking to his business manager Espen Agdestein

Yet another tournament victory for Magnus Carlsen

Photos by Ray Morris-Hill and John Saunders


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Thomas's picture

I will try to explain tanc's point as far as I understand it. His post contains undeniable facts, opinions where I agree with him, and opinions where I would disagree - gg mostly focused on that last part.

The facts: Anand and Kramnik won several WCh matches. Topalov won tournaments (including a WCh tournament) but lost matches against Kramnik and Anand. Carlsen hasn't played such matches yet and decided not to do so in the current cycle.

The opinion that makes sense to me: Carlsen's chances in the forthcoming matches (that won't happen) are so-so - I wouldn't consider him favorite against either Kramnik or Anand. I think recent head-to-head results and games are more relevant than an Elo gap of, currently, 4 points with respect to Anand or even about 30 compared to Kramnik.
BTW, I wouldn't necessarily say that Carlsen's chances are better in the next cycle. Maybe his chances in a WCh match will improve, but I wouldn't be sure about his (relative) chances to qualify: Karjakin, Nakamura, maybe Giri, even Aronian, maybe some other players have further upward potential.

The questionable opinion (which ruined his post a bit) are his statements on 'strong defenders': IMO, Anand, Carlsen and Kramnik all are, each a bit in his own way. Anand may be the best tactical defender (because he is also a strong attacker). Kramnik may be the best positional defender - e.g. holding his ugly Berlin together and counterattacking when the opportunity arises - but sometimes has tactical oversights. Carlsen may be the most tenacious defender: never giving up and grabbing whichever chances arise "by chance". Rather clear to me that, in this respect, they are all stronger than Topalov who is strong when he has the initiative, but lacks patience to defend an inferior positions.

Regarding thumbs up or down, here (and in many other cases) a scale from 0-10 might be more appropriate. I would give tanc a 7 as I agree with about 70% of what he wrote.

gg's picture

"Carlsen’s chances in the forthcoming matches (that won’t happen) are so-so"

Carlsen's chances would be so-so even if the matches did happen. Remember Kramnik in the knockout 1999 or Topalov in 2004. Both finished behind much weaker players after being beaten in rapid tiebreaks. Even if Carlsen would have participated I doubt that he would have won the event, and it wouldn't have proved much if he did or didn't anyway, just like Kasim winning in 2004 didn't prove much either. Even though he faced Topalov in a four game "match" and Adams in even more games. But it's still a lottery.

tanc's picture

Thanks, Thomas. You've explained it far better than I could possibly have.

Some people seem to think I'm against Carlsen when I'm actually pro-Carlsen and I enjoy seeing him play. He has been quite a bit of fresh air and has helped to bring life to the tournament circuit. My comments about him is that he is still largely untested in head-to-head matches. Naturally, I would like to see him as World Champion but I recognise that it is no longer a possibility (I very much doubt that he'll turn around to accept the Candidates given his public stance).

However, I also recognise that Kramnik and Anand do make mistakes (and I would rightly point out that eg. Kramnik-Nakamura was an atrocious game and Anand-Carlsen was dire).

True, we may differ slightly on our opinions wrt defenders. But as for Topalov, I agree with you that Carlsen+Anand+Kramnik are above him. it is well known that Topalov is not one to sit patiently and defend. This was something that evident in Elista 2006 and in Sofia 2010 where Kramnik and Anand used this strategy to great effect. But where Topalov is extremely strong is his opening preparation (in a similar vein as Kasparov) and is a ferocious attacker. If he gets an opening advantage, it is near impossible for him to lose. This has what brought him numerous tournament successes for the good half of 2000-2010.

Max's picture

Carlsen had 4 blacks, Anand and McShane 3. I think that is a substantial disadvantage and should be the obvious first tie breaker (SHOULD the tournament have not been played under soccer rules)

Your taking out Howell and Short is junk, quite frankly.

Egil's picture

Shooting star? Do you follow chess at all? During the last year and a few months MC won London twice, Nanjing twice and Corus, plus the blitz WC. In front of guys like Kramnik, Anand and Topalov. How many major tournaments did Anand and Kramnik win?

Reality check's picture

Yes, I follow chess. But the yard stick I use to measure great, greater, greatest must be longer than yours.

dabest3's picture

@S--Yes, we (22 thumbs down) agreed, your intellectual level is pretty low..:-)

S's picture

somebody will mention Kramnik-Carlsen = after+3

pb0071's picture

You may criticized Carlsen choice of the English and Tarrash Variation, that in your opinion not the most enterprising choices, but he chose those opening against certain opponent for a reason and it worked for him and he won the tournament didn't he? That's why he is one of the top Grandmaster of today and you're not!

gg's picture

"Carlsen doesn’t beat the top players, he only gains his points from weaker opponents."

Sancta simplicitas!

dabest3's picture

@Vladimir0o--under traditional scoring system Carlsen still win because of most black pieces and most wins on a tie break, all three scored 4.5 points. So it doesn't make any difference with your scenerio.

gg's picture

"History only recognises the World Champions"

I guess that translates to: "People with little knowledge of or actual interest in chess history give no recognition to Pillsbury, Rubinstein, Keres and Korchnoi since they have only heard about around 15 chess players"

"if Carlsen faces a bad position on the board, he goes downhill pretty quickly. However, if you give Kramnik or Anand a worse position, you can bet that they have the mental stamina to not only stave off the attack but to be able to turn it around the moment they sniff an opportunity 99% of the time"

See for example Kramnik-Nakamura and Kramnik-Carlsen in London?

tanc's picture

>> History only recognises the World Champions”

> I guess that translates to: “People with little knowledge of or actual interest in chess history give no recognition to Pillsbury, Rubinstein, Keres and Korchnoi since they have only heard about around 15 chess players”

Your guess is wrong.

> "See for example Kramnik-Nakamura and Kramnik-Carlsen in London?"

Here's 2 questions:

Would you call Carlsen one of the greatest defender (better than Kramnik and Anand) in chess based on that a selective handful of games?

Likewise, would you call Kramnik one of the most useless defender in chess based on a selective handful of games?

You don't need to give me the reply.

Meppie's picture

Carlsen is nr. 3 in the crosstable because it's liste by classical points and not by football-points.

Antonius's picture

... or less draws.
That's evident indeed.

Reality check's picture

Just to sum things up. One must admit that gm carlsen is a shooting star, but to call him the worlds best is going too far.

pb0071's picture

Do you have proof of this cheating attempts by MC? Unless you can prove it, you are making a serious accusation.

sd's picture

actually its nonsensee to say anything abt anand for being in waiting to see outcome of other games, he doesnt need to risk to get 1st place
as if carlsen dint win, then anand wud be praised

when faced anand, carlsen lost
fact is carlsen is gaining points on much weaker players

dabest3's picture

The point is Carlsen won the 2nd London Chess Classic for the second time whether with football scoring or classsical scoring because of most black and number of wins on a tie break. I don't understand what all the argument about.

Septimus's picture

"In this tournament Howell and Short didn’t stick to the level of play of other 6 players. If they are taken out Anand and Mcshane has +1, Carlsen and Nakamura 0, Kramnik and Adams +1."

There is no way to conclusively say who is going to have a crap tourney, so this is a WRONG argument. But, the 3-1-0 scoring system is utter garbage and has no place in professional chess. What next, use of complex numbers and compare phase and magnitude??? Stupid.

Septimus's picture

Don't discount Aronian and the other candidates. It seems like anything can happen as all contestants seem very closely matched. It would probably come down to opening novelties/preparation.

chessfan's picture

After the last round there was an apt remark
"Carlsen takes Short cut to title"

lefthandsketch's picture

I'm not surprised that Carlsen won this tournament. He took advantage of the scoring system and played for wins- and bagged more than anyone else. However, I think we can all agree that Mcshane really stole the show. His win of Carlsen was convincing, his drawing against Kramnik was artful, and his worst game really was probably against nakamura where he fell into a worse position but magically survived and managed to draw.

blueofnoon's picture

Actually, Kramnik's two wins come from Short and Howell, the tail enders.

So in reality it's Kramnik who could beat only lower rated players... (or players out of shape).

S's picture

blueofnoon, you just repeat what has just been said..

"Both Kramnik and Anand did better than Carlsen against the <2650 players in this tournament ".

Not that this necessarily means that Carlsen does worse than Kramnik and Anand against "weaker" players..

cak's picture

To me what you are describing sounds more like Anand's gameplan: Play solidly against his peers (to the extent that he has any), and then score massively against everybody else. Carlsen on the other hand seems capable of winning and losing against anybody.

(I should have backed this up with numbers, but I am too lazy.)

S's picture

Cak; Carlsen capable of losing to anybody is a relatively new phenomenon (since the olympiad). Before that he was much more "stable" . From then on you are totally right; most of his losses were against non top players (but then only with black).

I also believe that most top players are (of course) playing solidly against their peers (and are often satisfied with a draw from the start unlike Carlsen who tries more often to win). But he usually tries for more in a low risk manner- change openings, or drag out an ending or something.

Anyway-all these top players hardly meet "weakies" anyway-and this tournament shows that it might be fun to include them now and then.

blueofnoon's picture

I do not understand.

This year, Carlsen played 5 top level tournaments and won 4 of them.

What more does he need to prove his position?

Of course, he might lose to Kramnik, Anand or any top 10 player in, say, a 10-game match but then again chess game is not played by handful players, but millions.

That's why we have tournaments and the rating list, to find out who is the best among great many number of chess players.

Those who are trying hard to degrade Carlsen's success can consider finding new hobbies...

ronny's picture

Well, if some one says anand / kramnik are better than carlsen coz they frequently beat him then that is not degrading carlsen or belittling his achievements.

Anand stuffed kramnik , winning 3 games out of first six, kasparov could not win a single game in match against kramnik. Does this make anand better player compared to kasparov ? probably no , you can look at the result of kasparov and anand clashes. Like wise carlsen to showcase he is better than anand / kramnik has to beat them in matches . Going by his results against them i do not think he stands chance.

gg's picture

"Anand stuffed kramnik , winning 3 games out of first six, kasparov could not win a single game in match against kramnik. Does this make anand better player compared to kasparov ? probably no , you can look at the result of kasparov and anand clashes. Like wise carlsen to showcase he is better than anand / kramnik has to beat them in matches"

So if Carlsen beats Anand in a match it obviously can't mean that he is better than Kramnik since Anand's beating Kramnik didn't mean that he was better than Kasparov. The same thing if Carlsen beats Kramnik in a match, he would still not be better than Anand. So what he must do is beat both Anand and Kramnik in real matches (and no silly knockouts), preferably while both these World Champions are at their peak, while Carlsen is 20. Since nothing of this is ever going to happen one can just conclude that Carlsen never can be compared to Anand and Kramnik regardless whatever will happen and regardless if the tournament tables will keep looking as they have done the last years.

ronny's picture

Carlsen participating in candidates and winning the wcc would have meant that he has silenced all those who think he is awsome but still a notch behind likes of anand and kramnik. He is young and world no 1, obviously he is a genious.
but why did he run away ? Since he is getting dominated by likes of vlad , it is obvious why he did not participate.

gg's picture

If all the criticism of Carlsen's playing level compared to that of Kramnik etc would disappear if he won a knockout (!) but not by his winning dozens of super tournaments, how come people ever have questioned that Khalifman and Kasimjanov are better players than Kramnik and Topalov? The former also won knockouts while the latter didn't.

S's picture

Lol..It's about Kramnik tying with Carlsen, as any non silly person can read above..
Not about Anand or Mc Shane, but the hypothetical situation where Carlsen would have lost against Kramnik.

I suppose you will be silent now?;)

Lars's picture

To me it look like Howell gave 1/2 point to Luke McShane in their last game. Even with just 22 seconds left he would easily have won instead of repeating moves.

S's picture

anyway, you prove my point about the intellectual level of some fans ;-) thanks for that.

Brecht's picture

I think Both Anand, Kramnik or Carlsen could have won here...

not so big difference after all....

i would like a real match between Anand vs Carlsen , let's say 20 classic games
and then Kramnik vs Carlsen, also 20 games....
and then Aronian vs Carlsen, also 20 classica games...

WHo 'll win? And who 'll loose?

AljechinsCat's picture

Nice idea-- do you have the money for organising that?

Brecht's picture

Carlsen is very top player, no doubt about that.

But like in Fischer times, a prefer a real match between top players, like Fischer vs Spasky or Kasparov vs Karpov....

Just winning a game and then loosing a game to the same opponent , but in another tournament, makes the judgement more difficult about who is the strongest player...

that's all.

Nydrre's picture

Except that Carlsen doesn't beat the top players, he only gains his points from weaker opponents. Just because he wins tournaments doesn't mean his is the top player. He needs to play the top players in matches to prove it.

Mathijs's picture

check your facts before you speak silly. carlsen had 4 games with black. mcshane and anand had 4 games with white. first tiebreaker is the number of black games. so please do not reply if you dont know the fatcs.

Mejnour's picture

As black at the superGM level
1) be satisfied with a draw seem to be a popular attitude.
2) wait and hope for opponent blunder to win once in a while.

Maybe Magnus is not familiar with or just don't want to adopt this attitude...

bertje's picture

first of all:

All the scpetics about Carlsen after his loss against mc shane. FAIL He is 1st on ratinglist AND won the tournement. Grate job.

Second. I cant believe people actually use the ratebuttons for the messages. How sad.

Nydrre's picture

I think it mentioned in the above article that Carlsen comes in third according to traditional rules.

Nydrre's picture

Except that Carlsen doesn't beat the top players, he only gains his points from weaker opponents

dabest3's picture

@nydrre-- I don't know where you're getting your information, but you need to look at the tournaments Carlsen won all year long. Who are the top players he defeated winning some tournaments. Its funny when amateurs calls 2700 rated players weaker

Nydrre's picture

Maybe Anand wasn't playing to win the tournament, but to prove that he is the unbeaten champion and can beat the likes of Carlsen if he needs to.

Nydrre's picture

Obviously Anand is the best because he is the World Champion.

S's picture

It's a bit risky to talk about rating groups.
McShane has a rating of 2645 but (apart from the last round) he played clearly somewhere above that level, and MC lost to him.
It all depends on where you put the rating level; both Kramnik and Anand did better than Carlsen against the <2650 players in this tournament so in that case the theory would not hold.

Anyway, Carlsen does not do worse amongst the elite, but he is probably a bit better in chalking up points to weaker players.
That might account for a higher rating when there is in fact a group of players with approximately the same practical strength when playing each other (f.e. Kramnik, Anand, Aronian and f.e. also some guys who are playing at the Russian superfinal right now)

On another note; Anand had not a lost position against Carlsen this tournament. It was "analytically" slightly worse, and practically speaking the problem was even smaller.
To compare Kramnik's non win against Carlsen with Carlsen's non win over Anand is really ridiculous.

cak's picture

Based on your criteria, Nakamura had the best tournament since he had the best score against former and present World Championship contenders :)

More seriously, where can you find the statistics about players scores against different rating groups? Public opinion can easily be formed without basis in the facts.

Bobby Fiske's picture



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